Hello again from Ireland where the issue of religious involvement in the educational system in Ireland is very much under the spotlight - see the news articles below.
In this month's issue we explore another great character from Irish mythology - the Daghda, whose magical Cauldron of food was never empty. We also have another great story - The fate of Frank McKenna, and the origin of the O'Sullivan Surname.
Until next time,
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NEWS FROM IRELAND
BREXIT CONTINUES TO ASTOUND
The recent decision by the UK to leave the European Union (the Brexit), has resulted in a great deal of uncertainty in Ireland and abroad with nobody quite sure what will happen next.
French Premier Francois Hollande visited Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Dublin in the wake of the vote with both leaders encouraging the UK to act quickly and decisively now that the die has been cast.
But the new British Prime Minister, Theresa May, is unlikely to be influenced by any outside voices now that her country has set its course on leaving the European table. Despite the fact that the new Conservative Party leader supported Britain remaining within the EU, she has put an end to calls for a second referendum by reiterating that the will of the British people must be observed and that the UK will leave the EU.
'I couldn't be clearer. BREXIT means Brexit. And we're going to make a success of it. There will be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it by the back door, and no second referendum.'
The reality is though, that the Brexit process cannot commence until the UK formally triggers the legal '2-years-notice' mechanism to leave. And that is unlikely to be any time soon and may in fact be a number of years away, simply because the processes that must be put in place to allow a smooth exit do not yet exist.
Of course there are those who are still doubtful about any Brexit ever occurring and maintain that the longer the process goes on the more likely that there will be a clamor for a second vote (one that would almost certainly reject a Brexit this time around).
The complexity of the situation was summarized by Charles Grant of the Authoritative Centre for European Reform:
'The first (deal to be negotiated) will cover Britain's legal separation from the EU; the second a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU; the third interim cover for the UK between its departure from the EU and the entry into force of the FTA; the fourth accession to full membership of the WTO; the fifth new FTAs to replace those that currently link the EU and 53 other countries, and the sixth co-operation on foreign, defence and security policies.'
That is quite a mountain of administration that must be implemented and all the while keeping the worlds fifth biggest economy ticking over.
Britain is Ireland's largest trading partner so any trade agreements with the UK are clearly of vital economic importance to Ireland.
Additionally the issue of the border with the six counties in Ulster may result in a new physical implementation of a partition having to become a reality.
RELIGIOUS CONTROL OF IRISH EDUCATION UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT
Given that 96% of Irish schools are run by Religious Orders and yet all receive State funding the enrollment policies of these schools is a subject that is being very carefully monitored.
One solution for non-religious parents who don't live near to a suitable school is to endure a 'false baptism' of their child, to ensure that they are permitted access to a religious-run facility. Many parents clearly now feel that in the absence of sufficient non-denominational schools in Ireland that they must 'play the religion game' and feign religious faith to ensure that their child has a better chance of access to a local school.
There have also been accounts indicating that there has been an increase in children being baptized at the age of seven and eighth years in Ireland, often to previously non-religious families, and just in time for the 'First Holy Communion' sacrament.
The 2011 census of Ireland recorded the religions of Ireland thus:
Catholic: 84% (a decrease of 3% since 2006)
Church of Ireland (Protestant): 3%
Muslim: just over 1%
'No religion': 6%
'Not stated': nearly 2%
The 2016 census results are expected to show a further increase of those with no proclaimed religion, likely to be above 10% of the population.
This problem has its basis in the way that schools were set up in Ireland. Given that the country was overwhelmingly Catholic and that the English authorities had little interest in promoting education in Ireland during their military occupation, it fell to the Religious Orders to fill the gap and set up schools, many of which survive to this day.
With the foundation of the Irish Free State in 1922 successive Irish Governments were only too happy to allow the Religious Orders to run the educational system, which they continue to do right into the twenty-first century.
However, with the massive decline in the influence of the Church in Ireland, beginning in the 1980's and perhaps 'tipping over' in the aftermath of the 1995 divorce referendum (50.28% in favour, 49.72% against), the fact that the Church still controls the Irish schools is looking more and more like a huge problem for a supposedly modern society.
COIN-OPERATED PAY-PHONES DO STILL EXIST IN IRELAND!
As part of their Universal Service Obligation telecom operators are obliged to maintain a certain level of coin-operated telephone kiosks.
While it may seem quaint in a world where pre-teen kids are walking around with their iPhones there are valid reasons why the pay-phones should be maintained. Women's helplines for example have cited the availability of the pay-phones as a safe way for domestic abuse victims to contact their services (often in situations where such victims would not have free access to phones).
Older people also may not have access to cell-phones while those occasions when an emergency situation coincides with a 'dead battery' may make everyone glad that the coin-operated pay-phone is being kept alive.
OPINION: LOBBY GROUP OPPOSING SUGAR TAX IS A REAL DANGER
Government plans to introduce a 'sugar tax' will face big challenges from vested interests in the food and drinks industry.
There are indications that a 10 cent levy could be imposed on individual cans of soft drinks. Given the huge volumes of these drinks that are consumed every year this tax/levy would result in a huge boost to Government coffers, while presumably dulling demand (that is the real point here isn't it?)
The popular sugary drinks have been constantly linked to the inexorable rise in obesity in Ireland. But the Irish Beverage Council (IBC), is unimpressed and has attempted to link the recent Brexit result as another reason why any such sugar tax should not be imposed. The IBC is also citing a potential increase in illegal imports of sugary drinks should their products be priced upwards.
The IBC's pre-budget submission: 'We believe that the impact of the UK's decision to leave the European Union (Brexit) must be assessed before rushing into imposing an additional tax which could cause issues for UK-Ireland Trade' 'There are significant difficulties posed in controlling illegitimate trade imports from the UK unless any proposed Irish tax is aligned with the UK.'
The Irish Government should 'consider the consumer health risks in the case of the development of unregulated counterfeit products'
Clearly the IBC has a vision of hordes of sugar-crazed teenagers traveling in camper-vans to Newry to stock up on crate-loads of their addictive, sugar-saturated, insulin-boosting, fat-inducing soft drinks.
Or perhaps they envision a wave of criminal back-street sellers lurking in the shadows:
'Hey wanna score some Coke.... Coca-Cola?
Need some Sprite.... I'm all out but try Dodgy Dave down the Market,
... tell him I sent yah....... and keep it to yourself!! ...but tell your friends....'
Its great to know that the IBC have our best interests at (our clogged) heart.
The tactics of these lobbies seem to be from some well-worn playbook:
* Deny the product does any harm
* Scare-monger about criminal takeovers of their industry
* Scare-monger about inferior cheaper products flooding the market
* Finance election candidates standing against uncompliant politicians
and when all else fails....
* Sue the Government. Tie them up in Court for years
Meanwhile a recent WHO report has stated that Ireland is set to become the most obese country in Europe by the year 2030.
Thanks IBC. Great job.
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FIND YOUR NAME IN OUR GALLERY OF IRISH COATS OF ARMS
The Daghda was the Father God of the Tuatha Dé Danann. His position was so esteemed that he was described in the ancient medieval manuscript the 'Coir Anmann' thus:
'He was a beautiful God of the heathens, for the Tuatha Dé Danann worshipped him - for he was an earth-God to them because of the greatness of his magical power.'
Daghda was a mystical, supernatural being with magical powers, and his strength derived from his knowledge of the hidden, which in folklore was the highest kind of wisdom. He possessed three particular implements of magical power.
The first was the large bronze cauldron which was so enchanted that no matter how many people sat down to eat around it, they would all be fed. The second was the mighty club the Daghda carried with him. Its enormous size meant that it had to be transported on wheels, and it took ten men to lift it. One end of the club killed the living with one blow, while the other end could revive the dead.
The Daghda also had a magical living harp, the Uaithne, called the Four-Angled Music, decorated in gold and jewels, on which he could play music to inspire any mood. It was his playing on this harp that made the seasons arrive in their proper order. This mystical instrument also played three types of music, the music of sorrow, the music of joy and the music of dreaming.
Stories of the Daghda are both plentiful and legendary! One such tale recounts how the Dagda had an affair with Boand, the wife of Elcmar. In order to hide their affair, the Daghda made the sun stand still for nine months and therefore their son, Aengus, was conceived and born in the same single day.
It was this same son Aengus who was to trick the Daghda out of his own home at Brú na Bóinne (Newgrange). Aengus had been away searching for a love he encountered in his dreams but returned to find that the lands of Daghda had been divided by his father among his children, leaving none for him. Needless to say Aengus took exception to this and hatched a plan to regain his birthright.
Aengus asked his father if he could be allowed to live at Bru for 'lá agus oiche', meaning 'day and night'. Daghda took it that his son intended to remain for a single day and a single night but such was the manner in which Aengus phrased his request, the request that was granted by the Daghda, that the 'day and night' represented the coninuous cycle of time, day after night, and thus Aengus took possession of Brú na Bóinne for all time.
The tale is recalled in 'Gods and Fighting Men', by Lady Gregory:
But however great a house the Dagda had,
Angus got it away from him in the end,
through the help of Manannan, son of Lir.
For Manannan bade him to ask his father for it for the length of a day and a night,
and that he by his art would take away his power of refusing.
So Angus asked for the Brugh, and his father gave it to him for a day and a night.
But when he asked it back again, it is what Angus said,
that it had been given to him for ever,
for the whole of life and time is made up of a day and a night,
one following after the other.
Perhaps it is fitting that the Daghda met his end by serving the Tuatha Dé Danann whom he commanded for eighty years. The Tuatha Dé Danann fought the Fomorions at 'The Battle of Magh Tuireadh' and it proved to be a crucial event. The Daghda employed all of his magical instruments in the battle and even made sure that the war Goddess, Morrigan, would be on their side by seducing her.
When Morrigan had earlier first seen the Daghda approaching, she stood with one foot on either side of a river to try and make sure he couldn't get at her, but she ended up being so pleased with his skills as a lover that she gave her favour to his side in the battle!
The Daghda then approached the Fomorians in an effort to delay them, seeking a truce. The Fomorians mocked him, filling a cauldron with porridge, gallons of milk, meat and fat and even pigs and goats. The mighty meal was boiled with the Daghda instructed to eat the volume entirety or else face death.
The Daghda was not to be outdone! He scooped up huge portions of the meal with his giant ladle, eating and eating to the amazement of the onlookers, finally finishing his task before collapsing into a deep sleep, with his huge bloated stomach as high as a tree!
Despite being victorious at the Battle of Magh Tuireadh, the Daghda succumbed to a wound inflicted by Cethlenn, the wife of Balor of the Fomorians.
The influence of the Daghda through the genealogies of Irish mythology is enormous. Apart from Aengus the Daghda was also the father of Bobh Dearg (grandfather of the Children of Lir), Cermait, Midir, Aine, and Brigid - marvelous and important characters all!
He is remembered as perhaps the most important of the Gaelic Gods with his influence reverberating through the mythological annals that were to follow.
FAMOUS IRISH FAMILY NAMES: O'SULLIVAN
The Irish families of O'Sullivan and Sullivan derive their name from the Ó'Súileabháin Gaelic sept. A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory.
The name is taken from the Gaelic word 'súil' meaning 'eye' with the meaning of the remaining part of the name dividing scholars opinions. Most suggest that the name means 'hawk-eye' or hawk-eyed' rather than 'one-eyed'. Variants of this name include Sullavan, Sullivant, Sillivant, Silliphant, Sillifant, Sullivin and many others.
The vast majority of bearers of the names O'Sullivan and Sullivan hail from the Cork and Kerry region in the south-western part of Ireland. The other ancient location was nearby Limerick.
The histories of the O'Sullivan families could fill volumes. They are descended from Eoghan Mór, the father of Oilioll Olum. With the McCarthys, O'Callaghans and O'Keefes they dominated the southern part of Ireland prior to the Anglo-Norman invasion of 1169-1171.
The Kerry branch separted into two septs, O'Sullivan Mór at Dunkerron and and O'Sullivan Beare at Bantry. 'Beare' is thought to be derived from the Beara Peninsula that was earlier named for the Spanish princess Bera, the wife of the first King of Munster.
Perhaps the most famous tale of the O'Sullivans relates to the great march of O'Sullivan Beare.
In the wake of the Gaelic defeat at the Battle of Kinsale in 1601 the leader of a faction of the Irish escaped to County Leitrim with his band of followers. His story continues to amaze over four centuries later and is symbolic of the Gaelic resistance to the brutal English domination of the time. Heoric, but ultimately futile.
Donal Cam O'Sullivan Beare had commanded the remaining Gaelic forces after Kinsale, including those at Dunboy Castle. An English force of over 4000 men were despatched to finsih off the Irish and when they arrived they pummeled the castle with cannon-fire. The meagre garrison of 143 men stood firm for four days before having to surrender, when they were shown no mercy and hanged.
O'Sullivan Beare, who was not in attendance having travelled to Ardea Castle to secure arms and supplies, rallied his surviving supporters of approximately 1000 men, women and children and began the epic march northwards through a famine-starved and hostile countryside.
Apart from being constantly harassed by the English in constant pursuit the O'Sullivans were mistreated by other Gaelic septs who resented their claim on food and shelter. They were reduced to raiding local villages for food along the way with inevitable conflict. Upon arrival at O'Rourke's castle in County Leitrim a mere 35 of the original force of 1000 had survived with many succumbing to hunger, war, or abandoning their journey and settling along the way. Donal O'Sullivan attempted to join with the other Gaelic chiefs to renew their war effort but when Hugh O'Neill settled for peace O'Sullivan was forced to flee to Spain where he was welcomed by King Philip III.
O'Sullivan was later murdered in Spain having taken refuge there after the final collapse of the remaining Gaelic influence in Ireland. His reputation though, echoed down through the ages.
One of his descendants, John Sullivan (1740-1795), served as a General in the American War of Independence under Washington and served as Governor of New Hampshire.
Philip O'Sullivan Beare (1590-1660), a direct nephew of Donal Cam O'Sullivan Beare, wrote the 'Historiae Catholicae Iberniae Compendium' which recounted the battles of the Elizabethan war including the Battle of Kinsale and the subsequent massacres at Dursey and Dunboy.
Owen Roe O'Sullivan (1748-1784), was a renowned Gaelic poet in the eighteenth century while Barry O'Sullivan (1821-1891), and Charles Sullivan ((1848-1887), were celebrated actors of their time. In more modern times Sir Arthur O'Sullivan (1842-1900), of 'Gilbert & Sullivan' fame and Maureen O'Sullivan (1911-1998), were also famous in the entertainment field.
In the sporting arena John L. Sullivan (1858-1918), is among he most widley regarded boxers in the history of that sport and is recognized as the first Heavyweight Champion of gloved boxing.
Thomas C. O'Sullivan (c.1858–1913), was a New York politician and judge. Timothy H. O'Sullivan (c. 1840–1882), was an American Civil War photographer. Seumas O'Sullivan (1879–1958), was an Irish poet and editor of The Dublin Magazine.
Louis Henri Sullivan (1856–1924), was an American architect who is considered as the creator of the modern skyscraper. Edward Vincent Sullivan (1901-1974), was a legendary television figure in the US during the fifties and sixties. Kathryn Dwyer Sullivan (born 1951), was the first American woman to walk in space. The feats of the widespread members of the O'Sullivan septs are merely touched upon here!
Such was the prominence of the O'Sullvian families that in the year 1891 the Matheson 'Special Report on Surnames' listed the name O'Sullivan as the 3rd most popular in Ireland.
The video below is a 2002 RTE aniversary programe recounting the great march of O'Sullivan Beare and the history of the time.
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NEED A WEDDING, ANNIVERSARY OR BIRTHDAY GIFT?
There lived a man named M'Kenna at the hip of one of the mountainous hills which divide the County of Tyrone from that of Monaghan. This M'Kenna, had two sons, one of whom was in the habit of tracing hares of a Sunday whenever there happened to be a fall of snow. His father, it seems, had frequently remonstrated with him upon what he considered to be a violation of the Lord's day, as well as for his general neglect of mass.
The young man, however, though otherwise harmless and inoffensive, was in this matter quite insensible to paternal reproof, and continued to trace whenever the avocations of labour would allow him. It so happened that upon a Christmas morning, I think in the year 1814, there was a deep fall of snow, and young M'Kenna, instead of going to mass, got down his cock-stick--which is a staff much thicker and heavier at one end than at the other - and prepared to set out on his favourite amusement.
His father, seeing this, reproved him seriously, and insisted that he should attend prayers. His enthusiasm for the sport, however, was stronger than his love of religion, and he refused to be guided by his father's advice. The old man during the altercation got warm; and on finding that the son obstinately scorned his authority, he knelt down and prayed that if the boy persisted in following his own will, he might never return from the mountains unless as a corpse.
The imprecation, which was certainly as harsh as it was impious and senseless, might have startled many a mind from a purpose that was, to say the least of it, at variance with religion and the respect due to a father. It had no effect, however, upon the son, who is said to have replied, that whether he ever returned or not, he was determined on going; and go accordingly he did. He was not, however, alone, for it appears that three or four of the neighbouring young men accompanied him.
Whether their sport was good or otherwise, is not to the purpose, neither am I able to say - but the story goes that towards the latter part of the day they started a larger and darker hare than any they had ever seen, and that she kept dodging on before them bit by bit, leading them to suppose that every succeeding cast of the cock-stick would bring her down. It was observed afterwards that she also led them into the recesses of the mountains, and that although they tried to turn her come homewards, they could not succeed in doing so.
As evening advanced, the companions of M'Kenna began to feel the folly of pursuing her farther, and to perceive the danger of losing their way in the mountains should night or a snow-storm come upon them. They therefore proposed to give over the chase and return home; but M'Kenna would not hear of it.
Said he: 'If you wish to go home, you may, as for me, I'll never leave the hills till I have her with me.'
They begged and entreated of him to desist and return, but all to no purpose: he appeared to be what the Scots call fey - that is, to act as if he were moved by some impulse that leads to death, and from the influence of which a man cannot withdraw himself. At length, on finding him invincibly obstinate, they left him pursuing the hare directly into the heart of the mountains, and returned to their respective homes.
In the meantime one of the most terrible snow-storms ever remembered in that part of the country came on, and the consequence was, that the self-willed young man, who had equally trampled on the sanctities of religion and parental authority, was given over for lost. As soon as the tempest became still, the neighbours assembled in a body and proceeded to look for him. The snow, however, had fallen so heavily that not a single mark of a footstep could be seen. Nothing but one wide waste of white undulating hills met the eye wherever it turned, and of M'Kenna, no trace whatever was visible or could be found.
His father now remembering the unnatural character of his imprecation, was nearly distracted; for although the body had not yet been found, still by every one who witnessed the sudden rage of the storm and who knew the mountains, escape or survival was felt to be impossible. Every day for about a week large parties were out among the hill-ranges seeking him, but to no purpose. At length there came a thaw, and his body was found on a snow-wreath, lying in a supine posture within a circle which he had drawn around him with his cock-stick. His prayer-book lay opened upon his mouth, and his hat was pulled down so as to cover it and his face.
It is unnecessary to say that the rumour of his death, and of the circumstances under which he left home, created a most extraordinary sensation in the country - a sensation that was the greater in proportion to the uncertainty occasioned by his not having been found either alive or dead. Some affirmed that he had crossed the mountains, and was seen in Monaghan; others, that he had been seen in Clones, in Emyvale, in Five-mile-town, but despite of all these agreeable reports, the melancholy truth was at length made clear by the appearance of the body as just stated.
Now, it so happened that the house nearest the spot where he lay was inhabited by a man named Daly, I think - but of the name I am not certain - who was a herd or care-taker to Dr. Porter, then Bishop of Clogher. The situation of this house was the most lonely and desolate-looking that could be imagined. It was at least two miles distant from any human habitation, being surrounded by one wide and dreary waste of dark moor.
By this house lay the route of those who had found the corpse, and I believe the door of it was borrowed for the purpose of conveying it home. Be this as it may, the family witnessed the melancholy procession as it passed slowly through the mountains, and when the place and circumstances are all considered, we may admit that to ignorant and superstitious people, whose minds, even upon ordinary occasions, were strongly affected by such matters, it was a sight calculated to leave behind it a deep, if not a terrible impression.
Time soon proved that it did so.
An incident is said to have occurred at the funeral in fine keeping with the wild spirit of the whole melancholy event.
When the procession had advanced to a place called Mullaghtinny, a large dark-coloured hare, which was instantly recognised, by those who had been out with him on the hills, as the identical one that led him to his fate, is said to have crossed the roads about twenty yards or so before the coffin. The story goes, that a man struck it on the side with a stone, and that the blow, which would have killed any ordinary hare, not only did it no injury, but occasioned a sound to proceed from the body resembling the hollow one emitted by an empty barrel when struck.
In the meantime the interment took place, and the sensation began, like every other, to die away in the natural progress of time, when, behold, a report ran abroad like wild-fire that, to use the language of the people:
'Frank M'Kenna was appearing!'
One night, about a fortnight after his funeral, the daughter of Daly, the herd, a girl about fourteen, while lying in bed saw what appeared to be the likeness of M'Kenna, who had been lost. She screamed out, and covering her head with the bed-clothes, told her father and mother that Frank M'Kenna was in the house.
This alarming intelligence naturally produced great terror - still, Daly, who, notwithstanding his belief in such matters, possessed a good deal of moral courage, was cool enough to rise and examine the house, which consisted of only one apartment. This gave the daughter some courage, who, on finding that her father could not see him, ventured to look out, and she then could see nothing of him herself. She very soon fell asleep, and her father attributed what she saw to fear, or some accidental combination of shadows proceeding from the furniture, for it was a clear moonlight night.
The light of the following day dispelled a great deal of their apprehensions, and comparatively little was thought of it until evening again advanced, when the fears of the daughter began to return. They appeared to be prophetic, for she said when night came that she knew he would appear again; and accordingly at the same hour he did so. This was repeated for several successive nights until the girl, from the very hardihood of terror, began to become so far familiarised to the spectre as to venture to address it.
'In the name of God!' she asked, 'what is troubling you, or why do you appear to me instead of to some of your own family or relations?'
The ghost's answer alone might settle the question involved in the authenticity of its appearance, being, as it was, an account of one of the most ludicrous missions that ever a spirit was despatched upon.
'I'm not allowed,' said he, 'to spake to any of my friends, for I parted wid them in ange -; but I'm come to tell you that they are quarrelin' about my breeches - a new pair that I got made for Christmas day; an' as I was comin' up to thrace in the mountains, I thought the ould one 'ud do betther, an' of coorse I didn't put the new pair an me. My raison for appearin' is that you may tell my friends that none of them is to wear them - they must be given in charity.'
This serious and solemn intimation from the ghost was duly communicated to the family, and it was found that the circumstances were exactly as it had represented them. This, of course, was considered as sufficient proof of the truth of its mission. Their conversations now became not only frequent, but quite friendly and familiar. The girl became a favourite with the spectre, and the spectre, on the other hand, soon lost all his terrors in her eyes.
He told her that whilst his friends were bearing home his body, the handspikes or poles on which they carried him had cut his back, and occasioned him great pain! The cutting of the back also was known to be true, and strengthened, of course, the truth and authenticity of their dialogues. The whole neighbourhood was now in a commotion with this story of the apparition, and persons incited by curiosity began to visit the girl in order to satisfy themselves of the truth of what they had heard. Everything, however, was corroborated, and the child herself, without any symptoms of anxiety or terror, artlessley related her conversations with the spirit.
Hitherto their interviews had been all nocturnal, but now that the ghost found his footing made good, he put a hardy face on, and ventured to appear by daylight. The girl also fell into states of syncope, and while the fits lasted, long conversations with him upon the subject of God, the blessed Virgin, and Heaven, took place between them. He was certainly an excellent moralist, and gave the best advice. Swearing, drunkenness, theft, and every evil propensity of our nature, were declaimed against with a degree of spectral eloquence quite surprising.
Common fame had now a topic dear to her heart, and never was a ghost made more of by his best friends than she made of him. The whole country was in a tumult, and I well remember the crowds which flocked to the lonely little cabin in the mountains, now the scene of matters so interesting and important. Not a single day passed in which I should think from ten to twenty, thirty, or fifty persons, were not present at these singular interviews. Nothing else was talked of, thought of, and, as I can well testify, dreamt of.
I would myself have gone to Daly's were it not for a confounded misgiving I had, that perhaps the ghost might take such a fancy of appearing to me, as he had taken to cultivate an intimacy with the girl; and it so happens, that when I see the face of an individual nailed down in the coffin - a chilling and gloomy operation! - I experience no particular wish to look upon it again.
The spot where the body of M'Kenna was found is now marked by a little heap of stones, which has been collected since the melancholy event of his death. Every person who passes it throws a stone upon the heap; but why this old custom is practised, or what it means, I do not know, unless it be simply to mark the spot as a visible means of preserving the memory of the occurrence.
Daly's house, the scene of the supposed apparition, is now a shapeless ruin, which could scarcely be seen were it not for the green spot that once was a garden, and which now shines at a distance like an emerald, but with no agreeable or pleasing associations.
It is a spot which no solitary schoolboy will ever visit, nor indeed would the unflinching believer in the popular nonsense of ghosts wish to pass it without a companion. It is, under any circumstances, a gloomy and barren place; but when looked upon in connection with what we have just recited, it is lonely, desolate, and awful.
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